On October 19th, Greece government said that it has finalized plans to extend a wall along its northeast border with Turkey.
This is necessary over concerns hat migrants may try to stage mass crossings into the country and the wider EU.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that 26 kilometers of wall would be added to an existing 10-kilometer section in a 63-million-euro ($74 million) project due to be completed by the end of April 2021.
This appears also necessary because there was an escalation that occurred at the border earlier in 2020 after Turkey said it would no longer prevent migrants trying to reach the EU, and tens of thousands tried to cross into Greece.
Turkey pushed the migrants, and even went as far as trying to tear down the border fence to let them into Greece. This was all more than likely done in order for the EU to turn a blindside to what it was doing in Syria’s Idlib, as well as in other locations such as Libya.
The two countries are also at odds over energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean in a dispute that has triggered a dangerous military buildup in the region and fears of conflict.
Four Greek construction companies have been selected to build the new wall and upgrade the existing section of fencing, running along or close to the Evros River, which forms much of the border between the two countries.
The wall will be made using galvanized square steel tubes and concrete foundations, according to Greece’s public order ministry.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the border region on Saturday after a test installation of a section of the new wall.
The number of migrants and refugees traveling from Turkey to Greece fell sharply this year during the pandemic and after the border standoff prompted tougher border policing. Turkey has accused Greece of illegally pushing back migrants reaching its islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, a charge that Athens denies.
Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide, at nearly 4 million people, mostly from Syria, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
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